Growing old gracefully (or otherwise)

Growing old is weird. Growing old is sort of like a lingering illness for which there’s no cure. . . Well. There’s one cure. Death. But you know what they say. Sometimes the cure is worse than the illness.

Lately I’ve been feeling worn down, and I don’t have nearly the energy that I used to. And I’m thinking to myself, What’s wrong with me? Then I remember. Oh yeah, I’m old.

Sometimes, if I sit in one place for a long time, when I go to stand up, it’s like my legs buckle and they’re not quite strong enough to hoist myself upright. So I have to sort of grab ahold of something to help pull myself up. And I’ll think, Gee there’s something wrong with my legs. Maybe I better do something about it. Yeah. Like stop growing old. That would do the trick.

On the other hand, I now have one remaining goal. To make it to 70. And who knows, maybe my 70s will be the decade where I’m really stylin’ and find my groove. I knew a guy who’s big dream was to be taken seriously as a Philosopher (with a capital P). But it’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re a young whippersnapper. On the other hand, when he was in his 70s and had the long gray Merlin the Wizard beard, people assumed everything he said was profound. So, for some people, growing old can be an asset.

On the other hand, the ones who put a lot of stock in their youthful beauty and physical prowess, they might have a harder time with growing old. I was watching this press conference where this professional athlete was announcing his “retirement” at age 32. And I thought: Gee. I hope he’s got a good “retirement plan” for what he’s going to be doing with himself for the next 45 years.

Another good thing about growing old. The older you get, the more you start to out-live your rivals and enemies. Maybe you didn’t have a better life than them. But at least you LIVED longer than them. You out-lived the bastards. And maybe that counts for something (for one thing, you’re still alive but they’re dead!).

So who knows. Maybe I’ll enjoy a pleasant and fruitful old age. I picture myself sitting on a porch somewhere, in a sleeveless white t-shirt, rubbing my beer belly. Making weird sounds. Not doing much of anything. Eating applesauce and puréed mush every day for lunch. Maybe I’ll take up a hobby, like whittling. Just sit there on my porch all day long whittling away. And have like 5,000 feral cats all swarming around me. And live happily ever after.

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